Israel Grapples With Christian Donations

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

The Jerusalem-based Caspari Center presented an interesting selection of articles from the Hebrew press in which Israelis continued to grapple with what far too many still see as “suspicious” support from the Christian world.

In the first, which appeared in the daily Makor Rishon, journalist Ariel Shenbal lauded the outspoken support for Israel by “Christian Zionists.” Like many Israelis, Shenbal was beside himself that after so many centuries of persecution by the Church, so many Christians today express such overwhelming lover and support for the Jews and their state.

But the article concluded with one Israeli involved in making connections with Christians informing Shenbal that precautions must be taken for avoiding those Christians with an ulterior motive, in particular “Christian missionary cults like the ‘Messianic Jews.’”

The second article appeared in the weekly religious magazine Shvi’i and highlighted the ongoing and escalating debate among Israeli religious groups over whether or not it is proper to accept money from Christian supporters.

As one rabbi told the magazine: “The people of Israel naturally recoil from Christianity because of two thousand years of persecution. … That’s why [the Christians’] tendency is to gain our trust, and they do that through money. They have long-term goals. All these groups are in some way connected to the mission.”

Many other Israelis, even from religious sectors, see Christian support as an unprecedented and even prophetical blessing that the Jewish state should embrace.

It should also be noted, once again, that average Israelis today are far less resistant to those who openly believe in Yeshua (Jesus), even Messianic Jews. In fact, as Israel Today has reportedly repeated, Messianic Jews in Israel are today occupying high-level positions in all areas of society, all while being fully open about their faith. While there is still outspoken opposition from more extreme elements in the religious sectors, the traditional balance is undeniably shifting.

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